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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 6, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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on monday, david martin reported that the assad regime had given orders to prepare chemical weapons for possible use to put down the revolt that has been raging in that country for more than a year and a half. president obama said the use of these weapons of mass destruction would be totally unacceptable. well tonight, david has new intelligence to report, and we have three stories on the breaking news in syria. we'll start with martin at the pentagon. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence so far has not detected any signs syria is loading chemical weapons on to aircraft, but defense secretary panetta said it appears the embattled assad regime is preparing to do just that. >> there is no question that we remain very concerned very concerned that as the opposition advances, in particular on damascus that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons.
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>> reporter: monitoring of syrian basis like this one has pekd up evidence engineers have loaded the chemicals which combine to form the deadly nerve agent sarin into bombs that could be dropped airplanes. satellites have seen trucks moving among want bunkers where the weapons and agents are believed to be stored. u.s. officials say the evidence is strong but circumstantial not definitive. but that combined with fighting infighting in the suburbs of damascus, has led to fears of what the assad regime might do. we asked jeffrey white, a former analyst for the defense intelligence agency, what would happen if the rebels cut off damascus? >> it's the end of the regime. the regime can hang on for a while because it has troops in the city. it has ammunition and supplies and so on but it means the city will fall. it cannot stand alone. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence does not believe damascus is likely to fall right away, but white had an estimate. >> you can feel it. you can sense it. it looks like the regime's being
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defeated not tomorrow maybe, but not too far off, i think. >> reporter: can you put a time frame on it? >> i'm thinking in the next couple of months. >> reporter: the syrian government has vowed not to use chemical weapons against its own people but it regards the opposition as foreign terrorists. >> pelley: david, thank you. those so-called foreterrorists are actually the syrian people who rose up against the 41-year-old assad family dictatorship. it's estimated 40,000 people have been killed, mostly civilians. one reason assad has held on-- he's had the support of russia but that may be changing. in ireland today, secretary of state hillary clinton, met with the russian foreign minister. it happened at a meeting of the organization for security and cooperation in europe, known as the ocof sce, and margaret brennan is covering for us tonight. margaret. >> reporter: well, scott, officials familiar with those talks say the russians now think that bashar al-assad may not survive the war and they want
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to have influence in syria if his regime falls, or if he loses control of the chemical weapons inside of his country. u.s. officials are particularly concerned that those weapons could fall into the hands of an al qaeda affiliate active within syria. >> pelley: so what's coming next? >> reporter: well, it's a start to a new round of diplomacy. the russians have refused to meet for months, but this is not a breakthrough. the russians are signaling they're willing to help with the political transition, but they are still officially supporting assad. secretary clinton says the russians have refused to give him asylum. other countries have offered but so far he is not negotiating his exit. assad has vowed to fight to the death. >> pelley: margaret, thank you. when the syrian people first rose up it looked like a mismatch. they had rifles against one of the largest armies in the region. syrian towns have been turned into rubble, and the rebels are in the suburbs of the capital damascus now. it is rare for reporters to
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reach the war zone, but elizabeth palmer managed to get to the dictatorship's main military hospital to look at the damage being inflicted on assad's army. >> reporter: the tishereen it hospital morgue in northern damascus now receives between 20 and 50 bodies every day. most of them are soldiers. though some civilians do end up here, too. the man in the coffin is adnan said a civil servant who was 30 years old. outside, his mother and brother have just learned that he was killed by a sniper on his way to work. in the hospital's intensive care unit the men can't speak, but their injuries do. inflicted by rocket-propelled gre neighbors bombes, and automatic riflees, they show the anti-regime fighters have, for the most part simple weapons but deadly aim. 60% of these patients have bullet wounds, and in a sharply
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growing trend, they were shot in and around the capital. the fighting has now come so close to the main military hospital here in damascus, that no one feels safe, not even the medical staff. still, few here are prepared to admit that this is a civil war, syrians against syrians. least of all, the wounded soldiers who blame islamist terrorists. this i didn't think soldier, waiting to have two fingers amputated after a rocket attack, insists troop moral is high and his friend agrees. if that's true, i asked why do so many soldiers dessert? "sometimes they're forced to," they tell me. terrorists kidnap the soldiers' family members and threaten to kill them otherwise. after the surgery, this man wants to go straight back to the fight. but the way things are going, the fight it is on its way to him.
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elizabeth palmer, cbs news damascus. >> pelley: well the fight has come to egypt in the worst crisis there since the revolution two years ago. egypt's first elected president, mohamed morsi wanted to bring calm with a televised address tonight. he didn't. last month morsi granted himself near-absolute power. thousands of protesters are demanding that morsi scrap a proposed new constitution that they fear will take away many of their rights. holly williams is in cairo for us tonight. holly. >> reporter: well, scott, some people here thought that after days of protest and bloodshed, president morsi would make a major concession tonight but what he did offer won't be enough theirs opponents. they wanted him to immediately give up all of the sweeping new powers that he gave himself two weeks ago and they wanted him to postpone a referendum on egypt's new constitution, which is due to take place in under 10 days' time. they say that constitution doesn't protect the rights of
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all egyptians. but president morsi didn't do either of these things. instead, he offered to give up just one of his new powerses, a vaguely worded right to take all necessary steps to protect the country. he said he'd give up all the other powers once the referendum has taken place. >> pelley: so, holly what's the reaction been on the street? >> reporter: well, there were thousands of anti-morsi protesters outside the presidential palace tonight. they listened to president morsi's speech and they clearly didn't like what they heard. many of them began chanting a slogan we heard during the egyptian revolution-- "the people want the downfall of the regime." some people took off their shoes and held them over their heads a clear sign of disrespect aimed at president morsi. so there is every indication that egypt's political strife is going to continue. >> pelley: holly, thank you. one of the leading conservatives on capitol hill is stepping down. republican senator jim demint of south carolina is leaving to headline the heritage
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foundation, a conservative think tank. the announcement was a surprise so we asked congressional correspondent nancy cordes to look into it for us. flan see. >> reporter: scott, can jim demint is a hero to many on the right, and many here on capitol hill were stunned today because he's in the middle of his second term. demint say staunch, small-government conservative who is known for block democratic and many republican initiatives. that made him a start tea party movement and a powerful fund-raiser for tea party candidates. demint was one of the earliest backers of florida senator marco rubio. but demint has also angered party leaders by supporting far right candidates who lost their general elections. >> i'm not a witch. >> reporter: candidated like christine o'donnell of delaware, who in 2010, aired an ad assuring voters she was not a witch. demint says he can be a more effective communicator of conservative ideas by leading a
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think tank. he will also get a hefty race. the current president of the her tan foundation makes more than $1 million a year. a u.s. senator scott, makes $174,000. >> pelley: nancy, thank you. washington state's new marijuana law went into effect today, make together first state to legalize the drug for recreational use for people 21 or older. john blackstone tells us those that are supposed to enforce law are a little foggy on the details. >> reporter: at seattle police headquarters, jonah spangenthal lee was given the task of explaining the state state's new marijuana law on an online guide. >> what do you call it? mari-what? the guide to legal pot use in seattle. >> reporter: a lot of people are saying thattix. it will take a year for the state to write regulations for selling marijuana illegally. for now that leaves some confusion gaffes. for example it's still illegal
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to smoke pot publicly, but last night teem peepdid. let me get this straight-- you can possess it, you can buy it but nobody is allowed to sell it. >> that's correct. >> reporter: and nobody is allowed to grow it right now either. >> that's correct as well. >> reporter: so how do you get legal pot? >> i couldn't tell you. >> reporter: the new law passed with 56% of the vote. supporters say it the save police time and money. since 2001, more than 130,000 people have been arrested in washington state for marijuana possession. legal marijuana sales could also generate washington $500 million a year in taxes and business. opponents worry legalization will lead to more people using drugs. >> this is not what you're going to pick up in a baggy at the corner. >> absolutely not. it's the complete opposite. >> reporter: jamen shively, a former microsoft executive, has plans for up-market marijuana shops. >> we're positioning premium marijuana, very similar to a fine cognac, a fine cigar,
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something to be safeord something to be consumed in moderation by responsible adults. >> reporter: new stores would be modeled after those in many states it for alcohol. by next month a similar law will go into effect in colorado where residents will be allowed to grow their own marijuana. but all those plans could go up in smoke because of federal law. the justice department said it's studying the situation here in washington but scott, want feds have already warned residents of this state, under federal law all marijuana use remains illegal. >> pelley: plenty of room for confusion. thanks very much john. a change may be coming in the treatment of depression. software tycoon john mcphee goes to jail, and then the hospital. and the duchess of cambridge gets out of the hospital when the cbs evening news continues. have 1 day left. open enrollment ends friday, december 7th.
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yourself? >> scared. scared because i don't want to hurt my family. >> reporter: from your 20s until now, what has been the arc of your illness. >> the medicines that i have been taking over the years, they only work for two to three years, and then they just fizzled out. >> reporter: in depressed patients such as jim staples brain cell communication breaks down. current medication target a chemical called serotonin to help brain cells talk to each other but it's present in just 5% of those cells. these new drugs target a different chemical called glutamate, present in 80% of brain cells. researchers believe these new drugs restore the lot of communication better than older drugs, which can take months to kick in. dr. gerard sanacora of yale university is leading one of the trials. >> the exciting part of some of these newer medications is they might, in fact produce very rapid antidepressant effects,
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within hours or days. >> reporter: this new approach was discovered by accident when doctors noticed that anesthesia drug ketamine that targets glutamate, relieved depression. but it also caused symptoms that mimicked schizophrenia. dr. ron burke has been developing it glix-13. >> we found it has a very nice antidepressant effect lasts for several days after a single dose, and with no side effects will of schizophrenia at all. >> reporter: in one study, patients taking an experimental drug had a 40% improvement in symptoms compared to 24% on placebo. jim staples participated in the trial. >> my hope is that the trial drug will in time be the last one i'll ever have to take. i take the drug for the rest of my life, but it might be the last one i have to switch to. >> reporter: the drugs are still in trial and even if they continue to show promise f.d.a. approval is still three to five
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won't be by her side. he has to report for duty with the royal air force. you can't win without a "can't lose" attitude. we'll meet a high school football team thats that and the home town that inspires it next.. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke. there is limited data on how these drugs compare when warfarin is well
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up. the one public school is so small, the state might have closed it by now except for one extraordinary thing. the clairton bears high school football team. this weekend, the bears are in the play-offs to win a fourth straight state championship and their winning streak of 61 games is the best in america. >> we're making history. we're making a name for ourselves. >> reporter: one of the team's stars, 17-year-old terrish webb says the secret is the team's seniors. they've played together since they were six years old in midget football and grew up determined to win for themselves and for the town. >> if we lose that's actually letting them down so we owe it to the town to win. >> reporter: somebody might be inclined to ask you "hey, son it's just football." >> i think it's more than football. this football has taken us to college, helping us on the right path. so we think football is life. people may be arguing in the streets but on friday night, it
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everybody chants for the bears. >> reporter: part of the team's motivation is escaping the violence on the streets of clairton. one of their coaches was killed four years ago. webb's father was murdered when terrish was 11. do you about your dad when you play? >> yes, every game. >> one, two three. >> bearses! >> now webb and several seniors have scholarship offers and all 16 seniors have the grades and ambition to move on. how many of you are going to college? 100% of you are going to college? >> yes. >> reporter: congratulations. and that has made them role models for future generations of bears. tom mccloskey, a clairton graduate, is now the school's principal. i keep hearing a word about the senior class-- respectful. >> to themselves, to the community, to adults and to their younger classmen. >> reporter: is that unusual? >> i think it's unusual to see it in this many kids for this
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long of a time. >> reporter: it's a lot to ask teenagers to improve a town and never lose, but that's who the clairton bears are and the place long known for turning coal into hardened steel has done it again in the form of young men. wyatt andrews, cbs news, clairton, pennsylvania. >> pelley: ands that's cbs evening news for tonight. we're going to leave you now with "thursday night lights." the first family turned on the lights this evening on the national christmas tree across from the white house. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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note "e.t." ♪ demi moore's wild night out. caught on camera. her bizarre behavior in miami with lenny kravitz and stacy keibler striking strange poses, dancing by herself is hard-partying demi out of control. then -- kate leaving the hospital with will by her side. but is the royal baby still at risk? plus -- >> new fallout from the pregnancy prank phone call. justin bieber's grammy snub. ♪ >> why one of the world's biggest pop stars

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